“What can we say to my lord?” Judah replied. “What can we say? How can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered your servants’ guilt. We are now my lord’s slaves—we ourselves and the one who was found to have the cup.” -Genesis 44:16 (NIV)
When God puts the spotlight on your sins, whether directly or through others, what will you do?
In our last installment, Joseph dined with his brothers in his home, and sent them all off the next morning with as much grain as they could carry…and their money in their bags again. But, Joseph also instructed his steward to plant his silver cup in Benjamin’s sack, and then go overtake his brothers en route home to “discover” the cup!
Joseph’s brothers were understandably indignant when the steward stopped them on the road to confront them about the allegedly stolen cup. They invited the steward to check, and even said the brother found guilty should die, and the rest put into slavery. The steward was more gentle, and said that the guilty one would be made a slave, and the rest would be blameless.
And to their disbelief, it was Benjamin’s sack that contained the vizier’s cup! The brothers were all stupefied and very upset. They packed up their donkeys and headed back to Joseph, who asked them how they could do such a thing. He said the rest of them could go home, but told them he would keep Benjamin as his slave…the one brother Jacob would not want that to happen to!
Judah offered himself in Benjamin’s stead, explaining that when they went back to their father the last time, Jacob grieved that he might lose his only remaining son from his wife Rachel, and that Judah promised him that would not happen…because Jacob said it would literally be the death of him to lose both of his beloved sons!
So here it is, the unbelievable burden of sin: the brothers have been holding on to the guilt and concealment of their sin of selling Joseph into slavery for some 20 years, and continue to lie about it to their father and to Joseph. Can you imagine the weight of it?
Judah pleads with Joseph to keep him instead of Benjamin, to not bring more misery to his father, who already laments over having lost Joseph!
In this moment, can you imagine Joseph’s heart when he’s hearing this?
When God’s searing light is on your sin, confess it all to Him. Stop carrying it in your own strength. Your guilt over the past will do nothing to change it, and only burdens you in your walk. If we are to honor the Lord in our walk, we need to exchange our sin burdens for Jesus’ easy yoke and light burden.
And watch what happens next, when God’s grace meets your sin!